SEL

Newsela to Add Social-Emotional Learning Collection

An education technology company that provides daily news stories for students will be integrating social-emotional learning (SEL) themes into its curriculum. Newsela produces curated texts from recognizable media brands that cater to student interests and reading capabilities. The service also offers lesson plans and activities to assess progress and encourage group or class discussions.

This fall, according to a blog post, Newsela will offer a new themed collection with a focus on SEL as an add-on to its "pro" edition. "It is flexible, so it can be used along with any existing SEL curriculum; it is relatable and engaging, using the same high-quality content you've come to expect from Newsela; and it seamlessly blends SEL and literacy, so there's no need to choose between SEL and required lessons," explained Matthew Gross, founder and CEO of the company.

As a Newsela webinar on SEL explained, teachers might give students articles that cover relevant topics, such as how to feel confident when going into a test or examples of people making decisions — good and bad — in real-world events to help them cultivate specific skills.

SEL is the name given to the process that people — both kids and adults — undergo as they acquire and use attitudes and skills for understanding and managing their emotions, setting and pursuing productive goals, feeling and showing empathy for others, maintaining healthy relationships and making wise decisions. These touch on many of the soft skills students are encouraged to acquire as part of 21st century learning.

While the reading service is free to students, the paid version provides teacher tools, including a dashboard for managing assignments, access to an annotation tool and other features for customizing the program, as well as integration with popular K-12 learning management systems. This version also includes professional learning support to help educators implement and manage Newsela use in the classroom.

Currently, the service is taking contact information for educators interested in learning more.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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